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Published on April 11th, 2011 | by Patrick Riley

Every Song Must End…

As you may recall from last week, Steven Moffat will soon drop a bombshell on us and kill off one of the four main characters (the Doctor, Amy, Rory, or River) in the opening two-parter of Doctor Who Series 6:

“We’re not lying, we’re not cheating.  One of those four people is going to die.”

Frankly it’s difficult to imagine how he can keep his word and abstain from lying and cheating in order to pull this off, as we already know from previous reports/trailers that all four of them should be popping up again at least once following the The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon.  For instance, we’ve known for weeks now that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are all to appear in The Curse of the Black Spot, the story that immediately succeeds the American adventure.

With that information, and that information alone, it’s easy to conclude that River’s song will be the one to end.  But wait – think back to November, when the Grand Moff had a chat with New York Magazine:

“I’m writing the episode right now where the Doctor finds out who [River] is.  We’re not just going to endlessly tease.”

As I recall, principle photography on the opening U.S. story had already begun at that point.  Which means the script for that story was very likely at least 95% intact.  Which means it’s highly probable that the episode Moffat was writing was meant for further down the line.  Which means River will surely be back, in some form.

Will River be the one to die?  I think so.  Will Moffat end up “cheating” her death somehow?  I don’t see how he can’t.

Of course, there’s still the argument (surely you’ve heard it by now, if not made it yourself) that River can’t be the one to perish, because her fate, as we witnessed in the latter half of Series 4, is in the Library with the Tenth Doctor.  But a good chunk of Series 5 and A Christmas Carol was spent addressing the concept that time can be rewritten.  We saw it happen ourselves, twice, with the erasure of Rory in Cold Blood and his return to existence (the proper Rory, not the Auton) in The Big Bang.  So who’s to say that the events in Forest of the Dead can’t be undone?

Like I mentioned before, the fact that we know the Doctor, Amy, and Rory will be back in Episode 3 (and 4, for that matter) makes me certain that River will be the one to sell the farm.  But it’s difficult to picture this happening without impossibly unfortunate consequences for everyone else, especially the Doctor.

As always, your take is much appreciated!


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

5 Responses to Every Song Must End…

  1. avatar Rick says:

    I think it’ll definitely be a cheat for whoever dies but perhaps an honest one. We’ve already seen in the previews that the doctor turns up in a straightjacket with a haggard old beard in one scene, thus a huge amount of time passes and has to go back and be “fixed” in some form. One of the four will undoubtedly die before the fixing.

    although after Big bang and all the crazy re-writing of time and playing loose and fast with time itself, I hope Steven doesn’t go to that well too much….if only for future storyline consequences….

  2. avatar krumstets says:

    Well,it would be a cop out really if it were River that er…copped it.
    She has already died once. It would be something of an anti-climax if she were to die again since we have seen her passing once already.
    Time will tell…..

    • Well, when you think about it, all four characters set to potentially perish have already “died” at least once!

  3. avatar Hyncharas says:

    I think the whole concept is really amusing if you think about it. There has been allusions that the Sontarans may play a role in the new season with a clone, so there’s that.

    Then there’s the fact Moffat says we find out “who [River] is”, though it was Father Octavian who said The Doctor “didn’t know who or what she is”! I suspect if someone like The Master survived most of the Time War, there’s no reason to not suggest that another, rival Time Lord close to him might have survived as well… The Rani, perhaps?

    • I think, or rather, I hope, that River will be something or someone that none of us have already predicted. The best twists are the ones we don’t see coming!

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